Final search begins to locate survivors of AP boat tragedy

Last Updated: Sunday, January 31, 2010 - 15:43

Eluru: Authorities on Sunday launched a
final search operation to locate survivors and those missing,
if any, after 11 pilgrims met a watery grave when an
overcrowded boat capsized in Godavari river in West Godavari
district of Andhra Pradesh yesterday.

"We resumed the search operation in early morning. As per
our reports there are no more missing people. The search
operation will continue till evening," Eluru Range DIG Mahesh
Bhagwath told a news agency over phone, adding expert divers from Navy
were involved in the rescue efforts.

The country-made boat ferrying over 50 persons overturned
in the river near Biyyaputeppa village, about 120 km from
here.

Rescuers recovered 11 bodies including that of five women
and five children (in the age-group of 3 to 50) from the
river.

Bhagwath said the boat was meant for fishing and was
supposed to carry only 15 persons.

He denied reports that some persons drowned after they
got trapped in fishing nets spread in the river. The main
reason for the tragedy was overcapacity of the boat, Bhagwath
pointed out.

The victims, mostly belonging to fishermen`s families
from Upputeru and nearby villages were going to have a holy
dip at a temple in Antarvedi when the mishap occurred.

However, 40 persons managed to swim to safety with the
help of villagers.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, January 31, 2010 - 15:43

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